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Former OWWA scholar now establishes career as OFW

September 2, 2017
Former OWWA scholar now establishes career as OFW

Mr. Olivier Togonon’s father was a seafarer for twenty-eight years. As luck would have it, he would also become an OFW himself.


His journey started through one of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration’s (OWWA’s) academic scholarship programs.


“I was a scholar of OWWA under the Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program (CMWSP) from 2004 until graduation,” Mr. Togonon said.


The CMWSP is a scholarship program extended to migrant workers and/or their immediate descendants taking up four- or five-year course in the priority fields of Science and Technology with educational assistance of P60,000.00 per academic year.


Mr. Togonon took up Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering at Central Philippine University after passing the qualifying examination administered by the Department of Science and Technology.


Upon graduating, he worked in different companies in Manila before deciding to apply in Malaysia.

Top student: Mrs. Elva Togonon, Olivier’s mother, accompanies him at every commemoration ceremony.

“I always wanted to work abroad to seek experience and a different culture and environment,” he said. “And due to the needs of having a better income as well as professional growth, I pursued working abroad seriously.”


He eventually landed a job as a patent paralegal in a law firm specializing in intellectual property. The work required practitioners who are well-versed in “life sciences” like engineering or chemistry, so his experience proved a boon for the company.


Contrary to what he expected, he also adjusted quickly to being in a new country.


“Adjustments were just in the matter of getting used to the new culture,” Mr. Togonon said. “Being away with my family has been quite easy with the help of technology; different ways of communication are available as long as you can connect to the internet.”


When asked what else he would like to achieve, he said, “I want my family to have a comfortable life, especially my parents.”


He also added, “In the near-future, we plan to start a business.”


Mr. Togonon is also thankful for the opportunity he received from OWWA.


“I would like to express my gratitude to my OWWA family. We, scholars, are grateful for being given chances to travel, learn and meet different people in all the conventions and also for making us part of the activities,” he said. “I hope OWWA can reach and help more OFW families and make their dreams more achievable through their programs.”

From L-R: Ms. Conie Binarao, Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of the Programs and Services Division; Candy Maristela, a former OFW; Ms. Sara Togonon (no relation), Overseas Workers Welfare Officer III; Mr. Togonon; and Mr. James Mendiola, OIC.